Jack Pearson’s in the houuuse — the fire house, that is.
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This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia is teaming up with Duracell to deliver an important PSA about changing the batteries in your smoke alarm. Ventimiglia cares, so he wants to make sure if you ever accidentally leave an old crock pot plugged in and it starts a fire in your house you’ll be alerted in a timely manner, unlike his character Jack Pearson. RIP.
The actor stopped by the FDNY’s FireZone learning center in Manhattan to talk fire safety, and naturally I, a dedicated fan of the NBC drama and uh, safety, of course, was eager to see what the man had to teach me.
Picture this: The stoic-looking heartthrob (and also everyone’s dad) sitting in a fire simulation room surrounded by real firemen, a fire truck, gear and equipment hanging from the walls. I was witnessing Jack Pearson ALIVE in the setting of a fake burnt room and it was a LOT, but oh yeah, I was there to learn about fire safety.
“First of all, fires are dangerous,” Ventimiglia said. Very true, Milo. Go on.
“You never know when they’re going to happen so the best thing we can do is take some preventative measures so that we are alerted of fires that are in the home.”
Ventimiglia said developing a plan with your family and understanding the unpredictability of fires are key. And, of course, putting brand new batteries in your smoke detector.
The actor went on the explain that two thirds of fire-related deaths in the home (just like Jack’s) are due to inoperable smoke detectors. But he of all people gets how easy it is to forget, so he’s proposing we all change the batteries together, during Daylight Savings. Like the relatable man he is Milo loathes losing an hour of sleep, but if we have to endure the infuriating day he feels we might as well practice some fire safety.
Between his Duracell PSA and his memorable Crock Pot PSA, the actor is essentially becoming a modern-day Smokey Bear.
“Well, I’m happy I’ve got a shirt on because Smokey Bear did not have a shirt on,” Ventimiglia said, noting that he’s happy to channel his inner Jack Pearson and teach the people of the world these valuable life skills.
“I think it’s part of who Jack is — who Jack Pearson is as a man. He always has a positive message, he’s someone who’s always trying to inspire a little good and hope and, again, arm his kids with what they’re going to need to get them through their lives.”
Jack’s death shook the world so hard that fans of the show have been going up to Milo to share their own emotional stories about loss — something that the actor admittedly loves.
“I’m grateful that the show is sparking the conversation that it does, that it’s inspiring people to share their stories amongst themselves but also with me if they see me,” he said. “I think as an artist you always hope the work you’re doing is going to make an impact in someone else’s life that’s watching and it’s been nice to know this show is doing that for people.”
What’s up with OLD JACK, though?
We all watched Jack Pearson die on that fateful Super Bowl Sunday, but in the upcoming Season 2 finale (airing March 13), Jack shows up looking older and very much alive.
What the heck, Mi? How many tissues are we gonna need here?
“He’s got some age on him, yeah,” Ventimiglia said, explaining how satisfying it was to play the older version of Papa Pearson. “Because Jack meets his end in his 50s I never thought I’d get the chance to put on the age makeup and play an older version.”
“It was a lot of fun to go through the process and work with our makeup department finding how Jack would look — there were appliances, there were wrinkles, there were glasses, there was a wig. There was a lot to it,” he said. “It’s what Mandy goes through all the time. God bless her.”
Though Ventimiglia couldn’t spoil the episode he did say he felt viewers needed to see a glimpse of what could have been, and admitted he loved getting to work with some actors he doesn’t usually get a chance to share scenes with.
How to fill the This Is Us void in your heart post-finale
This Is Us may be going on a short hiatus, but Milo’s got some advice for how to survive until Season 3.
“You’ll have 36 episodes to re-watch if you want to or maybe get caught up on some other great TV shows, and movies out right now.” If you’re looking for a solid binge, might we suggest checking out Opposite Sex — a little show about three boys enrolling in an all-girls school starring Ventimiglia and CHRIS EVANS. “It’s a really good show,” Ventimiglia admitted, sharing he and Evans trade messages once a year. (!!!)
If you’re swearing off television until the NBC drama returns, the actor has a backup plan. “Novel idea, go grab a book. You could take it anywhere,” he said, switching from Jack Pearson to the book-loving Jess Mariano right before my eyes.
Milo is also starring in an upcoming a rom-com called Second Act with Jennifer Lopez, whom he called “the kindest, coolest, most talented, most hardworking gal out there.” (Sorry, Mandy.) So we have that to look forward to.
And if we ever find ourselves truly missing him, we can always glance up at the nearest smoke detector and release a long, mournful sigh.